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Dazzling Diversity in a Briskly Moving Year

The older you get, the quicker Top 10 time seems to arrive. The past year in theater seemed more than usually breathless, but the rewards were many, sometimes seemingly constant. An exciting new play one month, a revitalized Broadway musical the next, and always what astonishes me most: the breadth and depth of the acting talent to be seen on New York stages. All my choices, and many shows that didn’t make the final cut, left me immensely gratified by the dedication and sometimes necessary fearlessness of New York’s theater actors.

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‘Generations’ One of the best new plays I saw this year was also among the shortest I’ve ever seen. Debbie Tucker Green’s surreptitious drama, set in a humble South African kitchen, depicted the impact of the AIDS epidemic on three generations of a family with a delicate grace that was all the more powerful for what it elided. While the family members teased and taunted one another — who taught whom to cook being the one and only topic — death stole into the room, wreaking quiet devastation almost before you could sense its presence.

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